The first time I met my husband we were hanging out at his house when the phone rang. He checked the call display and said "Hey it's my dad. Do you wanna hear something cool?" He put the phone on speaker and answered. His dad's voice rang out clearly from the receiver. Steve looked at me with a grin. I was slack jawed at the sound of the voice coming through the phone. He sounded EXACTLY like Steve - or rather Steve like his father. I giggled and commented that I would always ask who was on the phone lest I think I had Steve on the phone and said something naughty. Steve was used to being mixed up with his dad and had been on the receiving end of a few such mistaken identity calls.
My sister does not fall far from my Mother's tree. Neither of them can stay awake on any sort of distance car ride, they have the same bottom, to my sister's disdain. Although, Sue works hers out and it's never going to be near the pancake mom's was! They can be easily hurt and then carry that hurt forever. They also share this ability to be light and flirtatious in any situation. They share the ability to be the glue amongst the tough times. They are admired my many but often forget or somehow don't even know how truly they are valued and loved which can lead them to dips in moods and depression. They have the same family values and are excellent mothers. I write this sentence as though they are both here, however, my mother is long since passed away. In her absence, and as we age, both my sister and I begin to resemble our mother in so many ways. We take turns remarking on each other's "just like mom" moments, sometimes we are offended but mostly we laugh and are pleased to know we keep her alive and near in the subtlest of ways.
To say that I can't see myself in my parents would be negligent for as much as each of us carves a pathway on our own to become the people we are, we have too many obvious shared traits to deny the tree from which our proverbial fruit fall. I have my grandmother's stubbornness, my dad's meticulousness, my mother's hands and lately her expressions, my mischievousness is all mom and my dark sense of humour from my Granny Dodie. I look at photos of myself with my daughter and they could be that of my mother with me 36 years ago. Both my sister and father have remarked on this in the past few weeks which just proves they share an insight, and the apples continue to fall from our parental tree.
At birth there was no mistaking Finley was her father's child. The nurses remarked as much at each shift change. They would wait until I was out of earshot to tell Steve so. They said the mother's don't like to hear the child does not look like them after all the work they went through to get them here, one said. Another said, they resemble the dad so the dad will know to take care of the baby - the mother instinctively knows how.
Steve claimed Finley had my body and his face. Our daughter now 5.5 months old has changed so much. She has my hands and my feet. The cursed long second toe that has given me a lifetime of ill fitting shoes is now hers. I ought to nip this in the bud early buy moving our family to a climate where flip flops are the daily foot attire. The child has my temper and her father's voice. She shares our stubbornness and curiosity, she's easily board and in need of constant stimulation. She has the Huff pouty lip from my mother's side, the Shipley eye shape, the colour all her own, and the nose and expressions of the Pare' side. As she matures we will see so much more of ourselves and our parents in our child.
Steve and I will stand and smile proudly when we are told she looks like us. We will be conscience of the fact that despite her being comprised of all of our good and bad traits, characteristics, looks, likes and dislikes that she is in fact her own person.
We will stand behind and guide her as she emerges into the independent person she is. We will nurture the skill sets and interests she will come to on her own, that have nothing to do with her father or I, or the generations that comprise us. For as much as we are made of of our pasts we are our own futures and in Finley we see the spring blossom emerging on our apple tree. The blossom is new, bright, cheerful, dainty yet hearty and when she is in bloom a generation blooms along with her.